Ed: During our engagement, I found out that Leonor really enjoyed ballet. She had taken lessons as a child but couldn’t afford to continue. I didn’t love ballet, but I saw how Leonor would light up when we saw an ad for a ballet. This gave me an idea for a Valentine’s Day gift.
Leonor: Ed told me he had a gift for me. He drove us to the theater. We walked in and, to my surprise, we were taken to box seats overlooking the stage. I felt overwhelmed with excitement. I could clearly see the whole stage. The performance was a ballet.
Ed: During the ballet I watched Leonor lean against the rail. Her eyes kept glistening with tears. She kept squeezing my hand and looking at me with happiness. I could feel her joy. I knew that it was just the right gift. I felt so joyful that I had decided to bring her because I was able to watch the performance through her eyes.
Leonor: Over the years Ed and I have tried to notice what the other likes. We have made the decision to love by showing each other that we are willing to get out of our comfort zones to experience something the other loves even if we don’t necessarily like it. I have learned to enjoy jazz, camping, biking and even cars.
Ed: I’ve learned to appreciate opera, art museums, traveling and learning languages. For me, experiencing things with Leonor that I might not ordinarily do myself and seeing through her eyes has brought us closer. It helps us learn more about each other, and keeps our marriage fresh as we experience new things through each other’s eyes.
Leonor “Leo” and Ed Rivera are members of the local Worldwide Marriage Encounter community. To learn more about Worldwide Marriage Encounter, visit www.wwme.org. The next Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend is April 17-19 at Notre Dame Retreat House in Canandaigua. To read more of Leo and Ed’s blogs, visit https://catholiccourier.com/viewpoints/blogs/to-have-and-to-hold.